What is a Compression Spring?
When most people think of a spring, a compression spring will come to mind. They are the most common type of spring and are manufactured from a single piece of metal that is coiled into a helix.
Compression springs get their name because they apply a compressive force. That means, when they are compressed, they try to force themselves open. This post offers a deeper look at the mechanics and how compression springs work. It also lists some factors you need to think about when buying compression springs.
How Do Compression Springs Work?
In the simplest of terms, compression springs work by storing mechanical energy when compressed on both sides. When this occurs the spring’s coils move closer together and the spring shortens. As this happens, the spring will apply an outwards force from both ends which pushes against the object acting on it.
Types of Compression Springs
There are a number of different types of compression springs available in Auckland. They vary in length and size, and the type of material they are manufactured from. When buying a spring, it’s important that you know precisely what the spring will be used for and all relevant details relating to its required size and loading. The spring manufacturer can then give informed advice on the best design for a compression spring that will provide you with optimum performance.
When buying a compression spring, you need to think about:
Compression Spring Design
There are a number of different types of compression springs. All are strong and have the ability to store a significant amount of energy. They are most often found on items such as car suspensions or, at the other end of the size scale, ballpoint pens.
The key factors to be considered when designing a compression spring are:
- Wire size.
- Outside/inside diameter of the spring.
- The number of coils/turns.
- Free length. If you do not know the number of turns/coils needed a force at a particular length can be used to calculate this.
- End detail – closed only or closed & ground square/flat.
Compression Spring Materials
Compression springs can be made from a variety of materials. As expected, different materials have different inherent strengths and so, when buying a compression spring, this should be taken into account. Materials used can vary from Hard Bright, Pre-galvanized, to Stainless Steel compression springs giving extra durability, strength and power.
Once again, a thorough understanding of the details relating to the intended use of a spring is required in order to ensure the spring manufacturer can recommend the best material for your unique use. A manufacturer will be especially interested in where the spring will be used. For instance, is it going to be immersed in salt water or will it have to withstand extreme temperatures?
Where will your Compression Spring be Used?
As mentioned above, the environment your spring is to be used in will have a bearing on the technical specifications of the spring you should purchase.
Different metals or alloys can withstand and work optimally at different temperatures and so this is important. While many metals look the same, the smallest temperature difference can be the difference between a spring that works effectively and one that breaks easily.
Corrosion is another enemy of a spring’s efficiency. The environment your spring is expected to work in will determine the material it is manufactured from. You may also need to treat springs in some way to ensure performance levels are maintained.
Size is another key factor in selecting the right compression spring for your use. Critical measurements must be taken to ensure a perfect fit. That’s one reason why it’s best to seek expert advice from a compression spring manufacturer before purchasing.
Purchasing the Correct Compression Springs for your Project
It’s like the saying builders use, “Measure twice, cut once.” When buying the best compression spring for your project, ensure you know every detail of the spring’s work environment, and go to a reliable compression spring manufacturer to ensure the best possible advice. A professional spring manufacturer will ensure all required specifications are met so that your spring is effective and efficient for as long as possible.
National Springs and Wire Products NZ Ltd is New Zealand’s most comprehensive solution provider for springs and wire forms. Our unrivalled in-house design and development expertise ensures that you get the right solution for your specific project. Our state-of-the-art CNC equipment delivers high-quality, accurate and consistent product flow – fast.